Research Inquiries

For inquiries related to SD Mines Research, contact:

Research Affairs

S.D. School of Mines & Technology
501 E. St. Joseph Street
Suite 102, O'Harra Building
Rapid City, SD  57701

(605) 394-2493



Research at Mines happens every day of the year, involves faculty and students at every academic level, and frequently includes collaboration across the state, the nation and the globe.

South Dakota Mines Leads New Big Data Effort to Probe Mysteries of the Universe with Observatory at the South Pole

IceCube winter-over scientist Yuya Makino walks to work at the IceCube Lab at the South Pole. This new NSF project, led by South Dakota Mines, uses data from this lab and other detectors with cutting-edge big data techniques to push the very frontiers of astronomy. Photo courtesy of Y. Makino, IceCube/NSF.

South Dakota Mines received a $6 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to enhance big data processing and astronomical capabilities of the world’s largest neutrino observatory, IceCube, located at the geographic South Pole. The research will attempt to answer a fundamental question that has puzzled scientists for more than a century regarding the origin of subatomic cosmic particles that carry visible energy. 

The four-year project titled “RII Track-2 FEC: The IceCube EPSCoR Initiative (IEI) - IceCube and the Data Revolution” brings together scientists from South Dakota Mines, University of Alabama, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Delaware, University of Kansas and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The team of researchers will work to solve challenges facing Multi-Messenger Astronomy (MMA) – this new form of astronomy integrates the various types of signals coming in from outer-space to paint the most-clear picture possible of our universe. The project is funded through NSF EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research). EPSCoR’s mission is to advance excellence in science and engineering research and education in its jurisdictions.

“Astronomy has enormous i...

Last Edited 9/15/2020 01:43:45 PM [Comments (0)]

Building a Legacy of Excellence: Gadhamshetty reflects on his NSF CAREER Award

Dr. Venkataramana Gadhamshetty holds a vial containing a piece of metal covered in an ultra-thin coating that makes it resistant to corrosion. This is one of the achievements that has evolved from his 2015 National Science Foundation CAREER award.

In 2015, Venkata Gadhamshetty, Ph.D., achieved a level of success known by a relatively small number of researchers when he landed a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award. Five years later, the hard work of Gadhamshetty and his collaborators is paying off with about $34 million in funded research across multiple fields. 

The goal of the NSF CAREER program is to empower early career scientists to open doors to entirely new directions of research. Gadhamshetty’s work involves emerging classes of materials that can aid in everything from building ultralight vehicles, to protective coatings for metals, to new ways to harness and store energy from the natural world and more. His research on generating electricity from defective tomatoes brought acclaim from the History Channel and worldwide media attention. 

One of his main goals is to better understand how microbes interact with matter on the atomic level and how this understanding could aid engineering applications. “These are questions that could engage thousands of people in this research for years to come,” he say...

Last Edited 9/1/2020 05:05:06 PM [Comments (0)]

The Aging Water Infrastructure of America and the Need for a New Crop of Water Scientists and Engineers

The Teton Dam failure of 1976 is one example of the need for future engineers who can address America’s aging infrastructure. Photo credit: Association of State Dam Safety Officials.

The increasing frequency of major flooding in parts of the United States coupled with dam failures such as the breached Edenville and Sanford dams in Michigan should serve as a warning on the vulnerability of our infrastructure during extreme weather, according to Mark Anderson, an instructor at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

“The nation’s water infrastructure is in need of engineering attention,” says Anderson, who previously served as the director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Dakota Water Science Center in Rapid City, and has spent his career working on water issues.

These challenges highlight the need for scientists and engineers trained at institutions like South Dakota Mines. Civil engineers can lead the way in innovative renovations to existing infrastructure and designs for new dams, bridges and roads that are more resilient to withstand a changing climate. Environmental engineers can help design new infrastructure that works in harmony with the natural world. Scientists like meteorologists and climatologists can lend to the understanding of what is coming and what society will need to do to prepare. 

The Un...

Last Edited 6/3/2020 07:34:58 PM [Comments (0)]

High Impact Hardrockers: Darrell J. Drickey

Dr. Darrell James Drickey graduated from South Dakota Mines in 1956 and went on to make significant contributions to the field of physics.

This profile of Dr. Darrell J. Drickey the first in an on-going series of articles describing Mines alumni who have made significant impacts on history.

Darrell James Drickey was born in Rapid City, South Dakota in June, 1934.  One of his maternal great-grandfathers, George H. Sanders, was a pioneer rancher in Dakota Territory in the 1880's.  The Sanders ranch along Rapid Creek near Caputa, South Dakota  was to be Darrell's home for the next two decades.  The Sanders ranch was celebrated in the area as having the largest private barns in the county, if not the state.  These were also known for an ingenious method of rapidly unloading hay wagons that Mr. G. H. Sanders incorporated in the hay barn.  Darrell was a typical farm/ranch boy which is to say that early on he worked in the fields, with live-stock and with machinery

He attended school from the first through ninth grades at Caputa Consolidated School.  In this school there were sometimes one and sometimes two operating classrooms.  During most of his time there, the school room was lit by kerosene lamps or Coleman lanterns.  Drinking water was hand pumped from a nearby household well and carried to the school house in buckets by students appointed to the duty by the teacher.  All daily and weekly janitorial work was done by students.  The student body numbered from 20 to 25 students in usually six or seven active grades.  On completing ninth grade Darrell, as d...

Last Edited 3/9/2020 03:25:35 PM [Comments (0)]